Top Chef: Las Vegas: Laurine packs her knives; Johnny’s new odds

Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay juices a grapefruit on his losing appearance on Top Chef Masters.
Photo: Kelsey McNeal / Bravo TV

Shock and surprise last night at celebrity chef Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay when he hosted a real-time screening party for Bravo’s Top Chef: Las Vegas, in which Rick was the guest judge. Everybody expected lowly 75/1 odds chef Robin Leventhal to pack her knives and get kicked out of the kitchen.

Instead, it was Laurine Wickett at 50/1 odds who got cut, and that changes the standings and odds of the seven remaining chefs. Rick told me that he had to shut his Mandalay Bay restaurant for an entire Saturday for the filming of last night’s show, but the exposure will be worth it.

“I’m amazed how many guests arrive during the weekends here from out of town with the specific purpose of meeting me and seeing where Top Chef: Las Vegas was filmed,” Rick told me.

Leach Blog Photo

Michael (left) and Bryan Voltaggio both came out on top of "Top Chef's" second episode.

In last night’s episode, Laurine failed hopelessly at managing her maitre’d duties, while the Voltaggio brothers -- Bryan and Michael -- excelled at prepping a meal blind-folded!

Next Wednesday, Wynn chef and two-time James Beard Award winner Paul Bartolotta will judge the quick-fire challenge with host Padma Lakshmi. Paul, who imports 1 1/2 tons of seafood each week from seaside Mediterranean towns to his Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, says the contest for the remaining chefs will be to create TV dinners inspired by old, top-rated hit TV shows.

Johnny Avello, Wynn sports book and race odds director, posted new odds this morning for next week’s program. Here are the odds, which are for entertainment purposes only and not for wagering: Kevin Gillespie, who opened at 8/1, is now a 9/5 favorite; Michael Voltaggio (11/1) is now 2/1; Jennifer Carroll (20/1) is now 7/2; Bryan Voltaggio (15/1) is now 9/2; Eli Kirshtein (22/1) is now 25/1; Michael Isabella (25/1) is now 28/1; and Robin Leventhal (28/1) is now 75/1.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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